Crystal Lake, Ill. (Dec.16, 2020) — A special American Red Cross blood drive will be held in memory of McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy, Jake Keltner, Saturday, Jan. 9 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Glacier Ridge Elementary School, 1120 Village Road, in Crystal Lake.
In March 2019, the 35-year-old McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy and special agent for the U.S. Marshals Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force, Jake Keltner, was killed in the line of service.
While Deputy Keltner was in the hospital, he received several units of blood. Although he did not survive, the blood transfusions made it possible for his wife to be with him and stabilized his condition long enough to keep his tissue, bone and heart valves viable for donation and resulted in an astounding final act of service.
The Red Cross and Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) are teaming up to help patients in need in January through the National Blue Blood Drive partnership. These blood drives usually occur on or about Jan. 9 in honor of Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
C.O.P.S. provides resources to help families and co-workers of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty cope with the sacrifices of their loved ones. This partnership provides members a meaningful way to support the community by hosting blood drives across the nation and raising awareness about the constant need for blood.
Deputy Keltner dedicated his life to serving the community and it is only natural for his family to continue to give back. “A blood donation in Jake’s memory is a way of allowing him to continue to give back,” said, Rebecca Keltner, Jake’s wife. “I feel like people have given me so much, supported me, and this is a way I could give back. I just thought this would be a really good way to do something positive.”
Rebecca hopes to continue her late husband’s legacy by teaching their sons they should find ways to help other people. She wants to instill in her boys “service over self,” Rebecca said.
This is the second blood drive held in Deputy Keltner’s memory. The first blood drive collected about 300 lifesaving donations and this blood drive is anticipated to collect just as much.
Blood donors of all blood types, especially type O, and platelet donors are urgently needed to give now to avoid delays in lifesaving medical care for patients. Volunteer blood drive hosts are also critically needed to stop the shortage from continuing throughout winter.
Important COVID-19 information for donors
The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may qualify to be convalescent plasma donors. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus. Donors can expect to receive the results of their antibody test within 7 to 10 days through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or the donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.
The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
How to donate blood
Simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information.to make an appointment or for more information.
All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from a computer or mobile device. To get started and learn more, visit RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.